Terms of Reference

National A2A Network 

‘Working together to improve the patient experience for people with learning disability within the acute hospital setting’

Terms of Reference


  • The National A2A Network is open to all and membership is free.
  • It is recommended that members also link with their regional A2A Networks (acrossEngland) or similar country based networks in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Eire (details can be found on the A2A website).
  • Many members are learning disabilities professionals, but the network encourages membership from mainstream health, social care and voluntary sector professionals and of course people with learning disabilities and family carers.
  • Members may choose to join the network as full or affiliate members and select the level of information/contact they receive.


  • To support networking and sharing of good practice amongst professionals who have a role in supporting people with learning disabilities to access healthcare services in general hospital settings.


  • All people with a learning disability have an equal right to healthcare.
  • All healthcare professionals have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to the treatment they provide to people with a learning disability.
  • All healthcare professionals should provide a high standard of care and treatment and value the lives of people with a learning disability.

Network priorities

  • Acute hospital liaison nurses for people with learning disabilities – increasing the numbers employed in general hospitals, developing their role and evidencing their impact.
  • Hospital passports – sharing good practice and agreeing upon a standard passport  to demonstrate key principles and support benchmarking.
  • Mental Capacity Act – ensure understanding by health professionals and that it is applied at the right time/s.
  • Training – sharing materials and approaches to learning disability awareness training and resources.
  • Sharing of information and practical support provided to families and carers.
  • Support the respect and involvement of families and carers, ensuring they are listened to and their expertise acknowledged.
  • Promote the use of accessible information and forms of communication. Share best practice examples.
  • Promote sign up of general hospitals to the Mencap “Getting It Right” Charter. Support local accountability to monitor its implementation.
  • Maintain the National A2A website to enable easy sharing of good practice.
  • Maintain a database of A2A leads and contacts at a national, regional and local level.
  • Develop a map of ALN’s across the UK.

 Ways of working

  • The National A2A Network will operate on a day to day basis as a virtual electronic network, using the website as the hub to publish good practice and share information.
  • The network will seek to set up a ‘group space’ for members to join to chat directly with each other and share ideas.
  • It will be supported by a virtual leadership team who will communicate electronically and by telephone conference calls to support development of the website.
  • The virtual leadership team will liaise closely with region/countries A2A networks and their nominated leads.
  • Regional and country based A2A networks will provide more regular opportunities for face to face networking at their quarterly meetings.
  • Regional A2A Chairs will provide a summary of good practice and developments shared at their meetings and provide contact details to support wider networking. These summaries will be posted on the National A2A website
  • An annual conference (which will also incorporate an A2A annual general meeting), will be held each year to support wider face to face networking and showcasing of good practice through presentations, workshops and poster displays.
Allyson Kent
A2A Chair
November 2011